Soft Drinks and Childhood Behavioural Problems

Soft Drinks and Childhood Behavioural Problems

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Research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that children with a high daily intake of soft drinks are more likely to have behavioural issues than those who don’t drink them.

The studied reported data from the mothers of these children – who reported on their child's soft drink consumption and who also completed a child behaviour checklist.

The researchers from Columbia University and Harvard School of Public Health looked at the health of around 3,000 five-year-olds in 20 US cities and found that around 43% of children consumed at least one serving of soft drinks per day, and 4% consumed four or more.

They noted that (the 4% of) children who drank four or more soft drinks per day were more than twice as likely to

•    destroy things belonging to others,
•    get into fights, and
•    physically attack people
•    have increased attention problems
•    experience withdrawal behaviour compared with non drinkers

Lead researcher, Shakira Suglia explained:
"We found that the child's aggressive behaviour score increased with every increase in soft drinks servings per day. Although this study cannot identify the exact nature of the association between soft drink consumption and problem behaviours, limiting or eliminating a child's soft drink consumption may reduce behavioural problems."

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